Lane Sutton is not your typical freshman.
By the age of 19, he’s been dubbed a “social media guru.” He’s traveled around the globe to give lectures at conferences, colleges, PodCamp, TEDx, and SXSW Interactive. And along the way, he’s made headlines in The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, BostInno, Mashable, and Forbes magazine, to name a few.
Age Doesn't Matter when it comes to Entrepreneurship
It all started when Lane was just 11 years old. He created a website called Kid Critic, which featured reviews about activities, movies, books, and gadgets that were written by kids, for kids and families. He used Twitter to promote the site, and it quickly got a lot of attention in the blogging community.
As the buzz grew about Kid Critic, Lane started going to local TweetUps and building connections with marketing experts. That’s how he met David Gerzof, an Emerson College professor and founder of the local marketing firm BIGfish Communications. Gerzof was impressed by Lane’s entrepreneurial drive and invited him to teach a session of his social media and marketing class at Emerson.
“Speaking in front of college students felt a lot like presenting in front of my classes, but on a different level. Even though the students were older than me, I was actually closer to them in age than they were to the professor. I talked about using Twitter for business and measuring social media. Their reaction was incredibly positive, and my mom—who came with me—was very proud.”
Two years later, Lane was invited to speak at the sold-out social media conference—PodCamp—held at Microsoft’s New England Research & Development (NERD) Center in Cambridge. Lane and a 25-year-old friend led a discussion on privacy in the age of social media.
Lane quickly gained notoriety for his fresh perspective on social media. He was in middle-school when he made the Examiner’s list of “Teens that Inspire” and named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People.” Soon after, he gave a TEDx talk in Washington State and spoke at SXSW Interactive—making him one of the event’s youngest speakers ever.
Lane—now a freshman marketing major at Suffolk University—continues to give public talks on inbound marketing, social media, marketing strategy, employer branding, and recruitment marketing. In fact, he just got back from the Social Recruiting Strategies Conference in California, where he co-facilitated a half-day workshop.
For someone balancing school, consulting projects, and speaking engagements, Suffolk is the place to be. “A big part of why I chose Suffolk is the location. Boston is a great city with lots of networking opportunities and events. It keeps me involved in the Boston business community,” said Lane, who’s already completed internships at nearby HubSpot, Sprinklr, OpenView Venture Partners, and TripAdvisor.
Lane said he hopes Suffolk’s connections will help open the doors for more marketing internships in the future. Right now, he’s got his eyes on companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Salesforce.